Desormais – The Swan Song (June, 2018)

The first post on the Cruising in France section of this website starts with the words “This is where it all began”.

And now, this is where it all ends.

This is Desormais earlier this week, awaiting the arrival of the haulage wagon on the morning of her return to France.   This time, however, she’s under the ownership of Jim and Suzanne, a really nice American couple embarking on an exciting new chapter in their lives.  We hope they have as much fun, friendship, happiness and adventure as we’ve experienced since that day in Newark ten years ago, when Desormais was lifted out of the water en route to France.

Thanks to everyone who has followed and interacted with the blog, to the ladies of Women on Barges Facebook page for their support and friendship, and to all those people we’ve met along the way.  We’ve had a ball.

On our first cruise back in 2008, we moored in a lovely village called Ménétréol, on the Lateral a Loire.  During the morning, we became aware of couple hovering near the wheelhouse, and very soon they’d engaged us in conversation.  They’d been boaters, they said, and they gave us a long and detailed description of their boat, their travels and their experiences.

Then they eventually wandered off hand in hand along the line of moored boats, a not-so-young couple who used to own a boat,  with memories to share and tales to tell.   I remember saying to Neville “we’ll be that couple one day.”

And now that day has come.

Thankfully, our memories being what they are, we told our story along the way.  Thanks for listening.

And here are some of our favourite memories captured on camera.  Au Revoir!


About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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21 Responses to Desormais – The Swan Song (June, 2018)

  1. Dale says:

    What a wonderful time you two had… and you’re right, you’ll always have the memories and the gorgeous (seriously) photos to bring you back when you feel like reminiscing.
    Thank you for sharing, Sandra.


  2. Tranature - quiet moments in nature says:

    What an amazing time with so many wonderful memories – thank you for sharing them here 🙂


  3. Sue says:

    Au revoir to your boat, but I hope not au revoir to your blog!


  4. Dear Sandra,

    Gorgeous photos with, no doubt, the memories that accompany them. Another chapter looms ahead. I’m banking on your muse tomorrow. Going back to a more civilized mode on this end. 😉




  5. We’re so happy to have shared a portion of one day of the adventure with you, giving us a plethora of wonderful memories as well. That was a special chapter in your lives; now you’re starting another. Enjoy the memories and enjoy the memories you’ll be making!



    • Sandra says:

      Thank you, Janet. I too will remember that day. It was lovely to share Desormais with you, even if it was only a brief trip down the river, and the lock was only a pale imitation of the type customarily found. 🙂 Best wishes to you both.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. tony Grunder says:

    Thank you … we retire in three years time …..and you have reassured us with your blog as to what we want to do in our retirement …. when the time comes we will pick up the baton or lock key for the next few years and hopefully hand it on as you have done …..


    • Sandra says:

      I hope you have many happy years of boating ahead of you both, Tony. I wouldn’t have missed this experience for the world, and I know you’ll feel the same way too. Happy cruising.


  7. Veronica Hayes says:

    What a journey it’s been following your adventures with your beautiful Désormais. I have so much to thank you for; your wonderful writing and photography, the superb information imparted and your friendship. Onwards to new and exciting adventures to come, Sandra. Much love to you both,


    • Sandra says:

      Aww thanks,Veronica. I’m glad that the blog has been of benefit. I take vicarious pleasure from your FB page, not the least from the cool beers and G&T sunsets! I’ll still be following you around, saying “we once had a boat, you know…” xxx


  8. Indira says:

    Beautiful collage of memories. Lovely photos.


  9. vallypee says:

    Sue, I have a lump in my throat reading and seeing this. I haven’t been a faithful follower, I admit, but I’ve popped in here now and then and loved your blog. I know the same will come to us one of these days, but every time I think of it, I want to cry, so I don’t. You have had the most wonderful travels and seen far more of France than I have yet. If we get to travel even half of what you have done, I will be happy. Beautiful images and lovely blogs. We’ll miss you, but I hope you stay on WOBs…that’s maybe selfish as you might not want the reminders, but whatever you decide, I hope you take a happy and fulfilling path!


    • Sandra says:

      I don’t blame you for trying not to think about it – it was the same for us. But they were good times, and all good times come to an end. I hope you get to see all that there is to enjoy along the waterways of France, and I wish you many happy hours of cruising. I’ll still be popping into the WOB’s site – it’s become a way of life. All the very best to you and thank you for your good wishes. Sandra


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